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The Team

Jenifer Heflin, Ph.D.

Jenifer Thrall Heflin, President of Heflin and Thrall Language Publications, received her B.A. degree from Stephen F. Austin State University. She completed her M.A. degree in Foreign Language Studies and her Ph.D. in Foreign Language Education from the University of Texas at Austin. While studying at the University of Texas, she taught several introductory Spanish courses. Dr. Heflin also lived in Mexico for a year to serve as teacher for the children of a medical missionary and his wife. In 1994, she began teaching Spanish and English at Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas. After six years at Wayland, she returned to East Texas with her husband, David, and began working on the Puertas abiertas project.  

David Heflin, Ph.D.

The son of missionaries to Costa Rica, Dr. David Heflin spent over nine years in Latin America and attended an all Spanish private school in San José, Costa Rica. He received a Ph.D. in Spanish Linguistics from Texas Tech University and has taught at several educational institutions, including Texas Tech University and Wayland Baptist University. He has translated materials into Spanish for over twenty-five years for a num
ber of companies, organizations, and publishing houses. Currently he teaches Spanish at Jacksonville College in Jacksonville, Texas.

In Memory

Original membe
rs of the team included Gordon and Betty Thrall.  Without their work and support, the company would have never existed, and Puertas abiertas would have never been created

A practicing attorney for fifty years, Gordon helped with the organization of and legal work for Heflin and Thrall Language Publications.  During World War II Gordon taught English to Spanish-speaking soldiers in Puerto Rico. He was also a talented musician and artist and created much of the art used throughout the Puertas abiertas program.

Betty received a Masters of Religious Education degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. She taught at Polytechnic High School in Ft. Worth and at the Baptist Academy in Hawaii, where she also served as Vice Principal. She served as Youth Director at Gaston Avenue Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, and at First Baptist Churches in Wichita Falls, Lubbock, and Houston, Texas. She was the first teacher hired to teach ESL (English as a Second Language) by the Jacksonville Independent School District of Jacksonville, Texas. She and Gordon were instrumental in establishing two Hispanic missions in Jacksonville and New Summerfield, Texas.

Betty went to be with the Lord in 2005, and Gordon joined her in 2010.  While we were deeply saddened to lose them here, we rejoice in knowing that they are now truly home; and we will one day be able to celebrate our reunion.

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